If there is one automobile whose name signifies a touch of longevity, it certainly would be the Chevrolet Suburban. Almost ten decades later, the fabulous vintage car continues to be in the running amid the production of new brands across the globe.
The model originated in 1935, a time when Chevrolet existed separately from General Motors. GM acquired the exclusive trademark on the “Suburban” name in 1998, years after Dodge and Plymouth dropped it from their respective lineups.
While some have sounded alarms about certain Chevy Suburban years to avoid, it’s essential to note that these concerns may have been somewhat overstated. Nevertheless, it is crucial to highlight the disappointing years to make people aware of models that didn’t quite live up to the Suburban name.
1999 Chevy Suburban
While already a popular brand during the last decade of the previous century, the Suburban inadvertently cashed out its fame with a lemon edition in 1999. Although it possessed the front-wheel drive system, which was conceivably new at the time, the four-door utility unit bungled its entrance.
The vehicle landed on several Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) during this period, presenting a prognosis of unpredictable mechanical issues. Engine problems, ranging from stalling concerns to engine misfiring, surfaced on more than one occasion.
Servicing mechanics replaced the associated parts of the unit where the issue occurred. The fuel pump, the starter, and the fuel injector were added to the list of components being overhauled. Drivers struggled to handle their stalled engines as their cars cruised downhill.
2001-2005 Chevy Suburbans
Twelve months removed from its initial year of fallout, the Chevy went back to its old ways as Suburban owners got dragged into a series of troubles once again. This time, glitches related to the main component of the car’s safety features emerged.
Brake and Transmission Issues
The Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) of the 2001 utility unit engaged on its own even at a considerably low pace. After a series of investigations, it turned out that the faulty speed sensor was the culprit.
Meanwhile, there were also complications in the transmission that caused gear engagement failures. Usually, the second and the third workings locked up while the Chevy drove through dense traffic.
The 2002 Suburban model got flak due to damages in the intake manifold gasket. Problems attributed to this often led to leaks in the coolant which could cause engine damage once the chemical got mixed up with the oil.
Troubles associated with the fuel level sensor in the tank caused worries for Chevy drivers. Wrong readings often led to gas shortages along the way. Although sensor replacement turned out to be the immediate solution, experts point out the need to change the pump module, especially for automobiles with high mileage.
A concern also shared by models for the succeeding years singled out a thumping noise arising from the upper intermediate steering shaft. The splined slip joint contained in the component triggers the disturbance as its grease pushes away the lubricant to the other end, thus, allowing the metal pieces to scuffle into each other.
On the other hand, electrical woes popped out in the list of snags being manifested in the 2005 edition of the Suburban. Owners complained about power outages in their utility units. Many reported about their cars not starting.
Along the way, it soon became apparent that a trail of complex electrical nuisances occurred starting with the battery. As acid leakages transpired, the air conditioning system got affected, and, at some point, such crashes led to flaming incidents.
2007-2009 Chevy Suburbans
When the 2007 Chevy edition surfaced, a series of dilemmas soon unraveled. During this stretch, the automobile suffered a common setback experienced by previous Chevrolet brands like the Blazer and the Equinox.
Fuel Consumption Issues
The Suburban suffered the same fate related to excessive oil consumption. Owners constantly refilled their 5.3L V8 engines with a quart for only around 750 miles covered. Traces showed that the defect was blamed on the inconsistency of piston rings to maintain proper tension.
This faulty strain caused the oil to break out and move into the crankcase. It then led into the combustion chamber. A platform called the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system got involved and messed up the situation further by spraying oil onto the piston skirts.
Then the ticking issues joined the disturbing list wherein drivers found the fault in full swing when the Chevy was idling. Since this concern followed a trail leading to the lifter part of the vehicle, assessments unveiled a snag with the engine which could turn out to be quite costly.
Faulty Manifold and Evaporative Control
Older editions of the Suburban, including the 10th and 11th generations, also got hit by exhaust manifold drawbacks. Upon a closer look, it also led to bolts missing that could cause distressful sounds like the ticking noise in the machine.
Defective Evaporative Mission Control (EVAP) turned out to be another bane in the existence of the Chevy due to the emergence of circuit malfunctioning. In this case, the fume leaks resulted from faults in the solenoid, the vapor canister purge valve, and even the gas cap.
2014-2016 Chevy Suburbans
The Chevy Suburban years to avoid also included the newer brands within the 2016 stretch. One notable fault covered the air conditioning unit of the utility unit. Mechanical inspections revealed various sorts of setbacks in the said system.
Usually, it started with the dirty air filter, but hitches go as deep as flawed electrical circuitry, leaks involving the refrigerant, and a blocked condenser. These troubles occurred largely in the 2015 Suburban.
The 2014 brand, on the one hand, dealt with complications in the safety features. Airbag lights continue to turn on even if the devices involved get restored. Likely, the causes pertained to broken wires under the seats and the bad position of the seat belt.
In addition, the spacer on the adjustment rail set the front seat loose as the automobile component got disengaged on its own. When this part of the car adjusted halfway upfront or into the back, it moved onwards and backward depending on if the vehicle stopped or accelerated, respectively.
The faulty ABS, which hounded the early Suburban models, resurrected during this period and into 2020 as owners experienced difficulty in putting their automobiles to a halt. The issue associated with this pointed to a bad wheel sensor which is prone to serious damage due to the wear and tear effect.
Moreover, concerns with the power brake assist got in the way as the pressure engaging the brakes is obstructed. The vacuum pump triggered the malfunction. Models of the utility vehicle beyond 2016 also displayed impediments related to the defect. Even the trailer brake system tends to interfere with this hurdle.
Persistently Outlasting the Glitches
The Chevy Suburban years to avoid displayed shortcomings which hit the enduring reputation of the automobile. Although these issues re-occurred over the years, Chevrolet managed to sustain the continuity of the utility unit as the company always sought out ways to limit if not eliminate the emergence of these mechanical hiccups.